Part of the
Hurtigruten Group

Yacuviña Archeological Site


Price from


Available all year
Min. number
0 travellers
Booking code

Visit this residential complex, mostly made with Inca stones, matching the Integration period and the Inca. It has large terraces, stairways and a water fountain known as "Inca bath”. Relive the moments of those Ecuadorian native communities, breathe fresh air, and relax in their landscapes.
  • Walk through the Inca stone trails discovering part of the history of the residential complex from the Integration and Inca periods.

  • Keynote talk with the archaeologist Robert T Marcom, who is part of the archaeologist’s team that has made important findings at the complex.

  • Breathe fresh air and enjoy the beautiful landscapes of this hidden area.

  • Admire the music and dance of the folk group from the local community.

We begin our experience in Machala, the banana capital of Ecuador, going from the coast landscape, quickly to the Orense Andes.  During our tour of approximately 2 hours, we will be able to observe the change in wild vegetation and crops between these two ecosystems (Coast and Andes).  In the Atahualpa canton, in the province of El Oro, is the Yacuviña archaeological complex.  The name of the archaeological site is composed of two Quichua words: Yacu which means "water" or "river" and Viña which would be equivalent to "forever", Yacuviña being translated as "Eternal water".  The name emphasizes one of the greatest attributes of the area, which has a set of springs and other underground streams of the liquid. 

According to archaeologists, Yacuviña would have been an Inca city.  In recent years it has been discovered that the Incas, a warrior people, did not conquer this sector, but instead made their special place to enjoy a relaxed bath, free of their conflicts in the north of Ecuador, since in this part of Ecuador the settlements were of very peaceful cultures, living in a harmonious environment with nature and its neighbors, Montubios and Tumbes, until the arrival of the Spanish. 

The place is made up of three natural terraces, and stone bleachers, like Machu Picchu and that possibly served as a shrine to the sun; the archaeological structures comprise approximately 1.5 kilometers. 

Once at the Yacuviña archaeological center, we will have a masterful talk with the archaeologist Robert T. Marcom who is part of the archaeologists’ team that has made important findings in this complex. Then we will walk along a path where we can observe the dwarf trees and wooded formations that have grown on rocks of 8 and 15 meters high, before being able to enjoy the ruins in the middle of the native vegetation of the high montane forest.  

At the end of the walk, enjoy of an organic healthy gourmet light lunch prepared with local ingredients grown and cultivate at the local organic farm while you observe the beautiful landscape from the viewpoint of this complex. 

Take your time admiring the local handicrafts that will be displayed at a small fair.  

Optional - The music and dance of a folk group from the local community - Ayapamba Parish Folk Dance group was established in 2019 after the need the villagers saw to rescue the ancestral rhythms and dances of indigenous, Afro-Ecuadorians, Montubios and mestizo villagers. The group consists of 20 people: boys, girls and teenagers between 11 and 17 years old, who with their daily actions try to keep alive the memory, customs and cultural traditions of the societies of this area.   

After that board your vehicle to return to the port. 

*Given the relevance of archaeological discovery and the guests status, this complex opens exclusively, on special request only for such important Hurtigruten guests”.

Practical information

  • Language: English.

  • Included: Light Lunch.

  • Remarks/requirements: Lightweight clothing which includes long pants and long sleeved shirt.Shirts, outdoors pants, hiking shoes, cap or hat. During the rainy season the insect repellent is highly recommended (December to April).

  • Walking information: 1500 meters / Terrain: Walking through uneven wide dirt and rocky trails, with a 20 degree incline and 50 steps to climb up and down. Guests can easily turn around and head back to the Interpretation Centre.

  • Wheelchair accessible: No.

Penguins perched on the ice of Cuverville Island, Antarctica. Credit: Espen Mills / HX Hurtigruten Expeditions

Sign up for our newsletter

Be the first to hear about our latest offers, exciting itineraries and inspirational articles.

Sign up here